[FPSPACE] Simulated Mars mission in Moscow...."Mars Landing" (with photographs)

Peter Pesavento pjp961 at svol.net
Tue Feb 15 10:17:22 EST 2011

The number of pictures are numerous, as well as a graphic of the habitation
modules.check them out.


>From the Daily Mail (UK) 





They are only spending "two days" on the surface during this simulation.




After 257 days in a 12ft-wide spacecraft two astronauts step out on to
'Mars'... a car park outside a Moscow block of flats

By Daily
rter>  Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:37 AM on 15th February 2011

*	The European / Chinese project is measuring the effects confinement
and stress have on interplanetary travel

After 257 days in a locked steel capsule, six researchers on a 520-day mock
flight to Mars have finally 'landed' on the Red Planet.

The all-male crew - three Russians, a Chinese, a Frenchman and an
Italian-Colombian - has been inside a windowless capsule at a Moscow
research centre since June.

Today their simulated flight arrived at Mars and two crew members, Italian
Diego Urbina and Russian Alexander Smoleyevsky, emerged from their
spacecraft to walk on the 'surface' of Mars.

It was a big step for the six-man team locked up for two-thirds of a year,
but a relatively small step towards conquering Mars. 

The researchers are now due to spend two days researching the 'planet'
before beginning the long 'return flight' to Earth, expected to be the most
challenging part of the mission.

Like a reality television show, or even the 1978 movie Capricorn One, the
astronauts are observed by behavioural specialists at all times.

Their mission aims to help real space crews in the future cope with the
confinement and stress of interplanetary travel.

The crew members communicate with the outside world via e-mails and video
messages - occasionally delayed to give them the feel of being more than a
few yards away from mission control. 

They eat canned food similar to that eaten on the International Space
Station and shower only once a week.

The 520 days of the mission represent a probable flight: 250 days to get to
Mars, 30 days on the Martian surface and 240 days for the return journey.

Their 3.6metre-wide and 20metre-long craft is parked in a Moscow car park
next to a block of flats.

It contains six tiny sleeping pods with cot-like beds, a living room, a
eat-in kitchen, a working zone, a toilet, a laboratory and greenhouse. 

None of the men have considered abandoning the mission, although they are
free to walk out at any time, mission director and former cosmonaut Boris
Morukov said last month.

'They are still motivated, but there is a certain fatigue, which is
natural,' he said. 'It will be very tough on the boys because of the

'The fatigue and the thought that the mission is over can be fraught with
negative consequences.'

The Mars500 experiment is being conducted by the Moscow-based Institute for
Medical and Biological Problems, the European Space Agency and China's space
training centre.

In an effort to reproduce the conditions of space travel, with the exception
of weightlessness, the crew has living quarters the size of a bus connected
with several other modules for experiments and exercise.

A separate built-in imitator of the Red Planet's surface is attached for the
mock landing.

The crew are Frenchman Romain Charles, 31, and Italian-Colombian Diego
Urbina, 27, who are engineers by training. China's Wang Yue, 26, is an
employee at China's space training centre.

The 38-year old Russian captain, Alexey Sitev, has worked at the cosmonaut
training centre and the two other Russians, Sukhrob Kamolov, 32 and
Alexander Smoleyevsky, 33 are doctors.

A real mission to Mars is decades away because of its huge costs and major
technological challenges.

Scientists have still got to work out how to create a compact shield that
would protect the crew from deadly space radiation.



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